by Tammy Turner
Beating the tip of the flashlight against the ledge of the attic floor did nothing to help the dying batteries. As the sallow glow of the dimming bulb blinked and gasped, my hopes of being able to see any critters before they saw me died with the last of the dim luminescence.
Fearful hesitation kept my hand from searching too far into the darkness. The tingle of a curious nibble stung my palm. A colorful description of where he could put his mouth instead of my flesh escaped from my lips as I swatted at the creepy crawler and found a new purpose for the flashlight.
A sedimentary layer of dust scattered across the garage floor as I wrangled the cardboard box down the narrow attic steps and dropped the carton to the cement.
What are you waiting for now? It might not be inside the box. You’ll never know unless you try.
The white typing paper had yellowed. The paperclip holding the pages snugly together was flaked with rust.
“The Princess and Her Puppy,” I read aloud proudly the title of the short story my father wrote for me when I was still small enough to fall asleep in his lap as he read to me. “For my little girl,” I said softly to myself, pronouncing the words handwritten carefully under his typed name.
At the bottom of the page, I placed my own thumb against his fading fingerprint. In the middle of the paper there even remained a splattered coffee stain. Behind my squinting eyes, I remembered him standing at the kitchen counter, always with his mug in his hand while he read the morning paper.
“It’s my turn now.” I said the words aloud, my voice echoing off the walls of the garage like an exclamation point. I had an idea. After all this time, after all the excuses, I was not going to let inspiration slip away.
My yellow legal pad filled with words as thoughts poured onto the paper. There was no going back. My dream had always been so close, but without fail I would let inspiration slip through my grasp time and time again. Not this time.
“The Princess and Her Puppy” now resides on a bookcase next to my other favorite authors and even my own first attempt at literary immortality. I am certain my father would not mind sharing real estate with me.
Sometimes when the morning is quiet and I am sipping from my coffee mug at the kitchen counter, I stop and listen. I can hear him, my inspiration.
Pages rustle in my ears as my father flips through the newspaper. The booming sound of his voice knocks the cobwebs from my morning bleariness.
“Kiddo,” he says. “Tell me a story.”
I always smile and glance over at the bookcase. “I’m going to have to clear off a shelf one day for my own books, Dad,” I brag to him, knowing that somehow he has heard me.
Growing up in the coastal town of Charleston, South Carolina, instilled an infatuation with history, mystery, and legend in Tammy Turner. From the time she could shuffle along behind her father, they would hunt for sharks’ teeth, explore crumbling cemeteries, and dig for lost pirate gold along the low country beaches.
After years of talking about writing her own novel, she decided to put pen to paper and go for it. Tammy Turner's debut young adult fantasy novel, Falling into Forever was released June 5, 2012. The struggle and thrill of creating Falling into Forever left Tammy eager to continue creating more adventures for her characters, and she looks forward to sharing more of their lives with readers.